A note from 9th District Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh:
After 4 years of work in District 9, the Green Triangle is entering a new partnership with Louisville Metro Office of Sustainability and the Louisville Sustainability Council (LSC), which will be working on a community wide scale to encourage green action and collect green data. Since April 2012 the Green Triangle website collected data from the 9th District about the steps people are taking to become more sustainable in their daily lives. You can see the exciting data that we collected here. The LSC will be researching the best way to expand green data collection to the full Louisville community.
Learn more about the Louisville Sustainability Council, how to become a member, and get involved in the Action Teams related to the Sustain Louisville Plan.
For the time being, the Green Triangle Blog will serve as a resource for learning about the work that the 9th District Green Triangle did from 2009 to 2013, and blog posts will continue to be updated. I have grown immeasurably while working with you all in the 9th District to create a more sustainable community, and I am excited to see this work continue in a more expansive and sophisticated format for the full Louisville community, which has been our long range goal from the beginning.
Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9) has announced she is allocating $9,000 District 9 CIF for a pilot project to construct two traffic circles: one where Nanz intersects with Iola Road and the other at Nanz and Macon Avenue. This green infrastructure is in cooperation with the City of St. Matthews.
The residential traffic circle is designed to be just large enough to force the motorist to travel beyond the adjacent curb line, which ensures a lower appropriate speed for navigating the intersection, but not necessarily a full stop, thus improving safety and reducing carbon emissions.
“Traffic circles have proven to be effective for reducing speeding in our neighborhoods,” said Ward-Pugh. “Traffic circles can also bring a burst of scenic beauty to an area for a relativity small amount of money.”
Traffic Circles are raised islands which are placed in the intersection and thereby slowing cars down to circulate around the island. It also allows a better thoroughfare for cyclists who wish to access Seneca Park and then move on to Cherokee Park.
“The City of Seattle has found traffic islands have decreased the amount of traffic accidents in areas where they were placed,” said Ward-Pugh. “The city also saw a decrease in speeding as a result.”
The Appropriations NDF / CIF Committee gave its approval to the idea on Wednesday.
The Councilwoman says the next step will be to let residents in the area know about the proposed change.
From the Louisville Water Company
Louisville Water Handles the MCHM contaminant with Advanced Treatment
Louisville Water expects the plume of the MCHM chemical that spilled into the Elk River last Thursday to pass through Louisville Friday morning. This incident does not pose a health concern and will not impact the quality of Louisville’s drinking water. The plume will pass quickly through Louisville – in about 24 hours – at levels of between 5 and 20 parts per billion (ppb) in the Ohio River. However, Louisville’s drinking water should contain no detectable traces of MCHM.
Louisville Water scientists have worked closely with the Ohio River Valley Water and Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) throughout the week to analyze samples. The levels of MCHM have continued to drop as the plume traveled downriver – – from 375 ppb where the Kanawha River joins the Ohio River to 14 ppb near Cincinnati. This morning, communication officials at the Center for Disease Controls confirm that our drinking water is safe – with levels of MCHM below 50 parts per billion considered not a public health risk. Again, Louisville’s drinking water should contain no detectable levels of MCHM.
Louisville Water is well-equipped to handle this type of incident through two treatment processes:
1. First, using groundwater as a source with the Riverbank Filtration project at the BE Payne Plant. This one-of-a-kind project in the world uses a tunnel and well system as a natural filter. This treatment system is a “green approach” and naturally filters water moving into the ground.
2. Second, at the Crescent Hill Filtration Plant, Louisville Water will use carbon to remove the contaminant. This type of treatment can be routinely used to handle taste and odor issues.
Louisville Water customers will not see any changes in the quality of their drinking water nor should they notice any changes in the taste of their drinking water. The treatment strategy in this instance is similar to how Louisville Water deals with other taste and odor issues.
If you received new electronics during the holidays, and are looking to dispose of your old electronics in a sustainable way, the Green Triangle and Eco-Cell have a green option for you!
Recycle your old handheld electronics through Eco-Cell with three drop off locations in the 9th District. Eco-Cell will resell the electronics if possible, and if not, they will be recycled in an ethical way. Rest assured that Eco-Cell has a no landfill policy. Drop off locations are listed below:
For each item recycled, the Green Triangle will receive funds for green projects in District 9. Learn more here.
Metro Solid Waste Management Services (SWMS) will again this year offer curbside pickup of Christmas Trees to residents of the Urban Services District (the old City of Louisville boundaries). Beginning Thursday, December 26, residents with City curbside yard waste pickup may set their Christmas trees and greenery out on their regular collection day.
Drop-off sites will also be available for all Louisville residents at three locations. Two of the three drop-off sites will also instantly recycle trees in to mulch that will be offered back to citizens for home use.
Those wishing to receive mulch must bring an appropriate container in which to carry it. For every five trees recycled, approximately 35 pounds of mulch can be created and used to help new plant and tree growth. This mulch performs particularly well for acid-loving plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons. Trees picked up from curbside will also be recycled but not offered as mulch.
Louisville residents outside the Urban Services District who are interested in curbside pickup should check with their private waste haulers to see whether and when tree pickup is available.
Christmas tree vendors may recycle their unsold trees on Thursday, December 26 ONLY, and only at the Hubbard’s Lane site.
DROP OFF LOCATIONS
- East District Recycling Center, 595 N. Hubbards Lane
- Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Highway
- Waste Reduction Center – 636 Meriwether Avenue (Tree drop-off only. Mulch is not available at this location.)
- December 26, 27 and 28th
- January 2, 3 and 4th
With our recent snow in Louisville, I thought it would be a good time to investigate options for snow and ice removal. There is an ordinance in Metro Louisville requiring the owners or occupants of homes and buildings to remove snow on the sidewalk in front of their property within 24 hours of a snowfall. While this is the ordinance, it is important to remember that some residents are unable to shovel their walks. So let’s look out for our neighbors and take snowy weather as an opportunity to build community through reaching out to help others.
The greenest way to remove snow is to shovel it by hand before it ices over. Sometimes this is impossible to do and people often turn to salt.
Using salt to melt snow or ice has its drawbacks:
- Salt can kill vegetation
- Salt can leach heavy metals, polluting the groundwater supply and local streams
- Runoff with salt can increase salinity in waterways
- Excess salt builds up in soils
- Salt can cause corrosion of vehicles, lessening the life and sustainability of a vehicle
If you must use salt, follow the directions for how much salt to use and do not over-salt. Some salts are better than others from an environmental perspective. Magnesium chloride is less corrosive and toxic than sodium chloride, which is typically used for melting snow. Read ingredients on salt bags and try to purchase magnesium chloride if you must use salt. Find more information here.
From Bike Louisville: The bike movement in Louisville is gaining steam! To kick-off 2014 we’re assembling some of its key contributors to talk about its progress and important steps ahead. Here are the details:
What: The 2014 Bike Kick-Off
When: Wednesday, January 8th (5:30-7:30)
Where: Clifton Center, (2117 Payne Street, Louisville, KY 40206)
We’re looking to promote networking, inspire action, and coordinate efforts among the people excited about improving conditions for bicycling in Louisville. Doors open at 5:30 pm, with presentations beginning at 6:00 and lasting roughly an hour. Light snacks and beverages will be available. After the presentations, we invite you to stick around to chat with others and meet with bike advocacy groups from around the region.
On Thursday, December 12, 2013 the Louisville Metro Sustainability Committee hosted the second annual All Call for Sustainability Groups. Committee chair Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh asked for sustainability organizations and businesses to present for two minutes each about their work and offerings. Eighteen groups and businesses answered this call and presented at the meeting. See a list of the groups and businesses with a description of each by clicking on the following link: 12.12.13 Sustainability Handout. See a list of the groups and businesses that appeared at the Sustainability All Call in 2012: 12.6.12 Sustainability Handout.
The goal of the meeting was to introduce the community to innovative, inspiring, creative people and initiatives related to sustainability.
Watch a video of the meeting here, or find when it will appear on MetroTV here.
The holiday season is upon us. No matter what holiday you celebrate, there are ways to make these occasions more sustainable.
Many holiday traditions include gift giving – let’s first look at ways to think about greening these practices:
- Buy local: buying from local establishments makes our community more sustainable in multiple ways. A higher percentage of your purchase price stays in the community when you shop at a locally owned establishment. Plus, buying local products often cuts down on fuel needed to transport goods. Learn more from the Louisville Independent Business Association. Find a list of some 9th District local businesses on the Frankfort Avenue Business Association website.
- If you get a new electronic item for a gift, recycle your old item through Eco-Cell and help raise funds for the Green Triangle’s sustainability efforts. Handheld electronic items, laptops and smaller, are accepted. Find a list of locations in the 9th district where you can drop off your electronic items to be recycled. If you have larger electronic items to recycle, like microwaves, computers, and televisions, take them to the Louisville Waste Reduction Center at 636 Meriwether Avenue. Find acceptable items and hours. If you receive other gifts and feel the need to clean out old items, find charitable organizations that accept used clothes and other household items instead of throwing items away.
- Make a gift. Some of the most meaningful presents are handmade.
- Don’t buy a gift item just for the sake of buying it. Can’t think of anything that Aunt Susan needs? Buy her a gift certificate to her favorite local establishment or restaurant. Or, make a donation in her name to a local charity.
- Avoid buying gifts with excessive packaging.
- Take reusable bags on shopping trips.
- Try using alternatives to traditional wrapping paper. (Use newspaper, dish towels, or homemade paper made from decorated paper bags.) If you use wrapping paper, make sure it is recyclable. Try to buy wrapping paper with recycled content. Reuse gift bags and tissue paper from year to year.
- If you are buying electronics or appliances as gifts purchase energy efficient models.
Family holiday meals:
- Avoid disposable dishes. If you must use them, try to find recyclable or compostable products.
- Try to use some local produce. Some of Louisville farmers’ markets are still open in December. See a list here.
- Compost organic materials leftover from preparing meals.
- If you decorate with lights for the holiday season, purchase energy efficient versions such as LED bulbs, and limit the amount of time that they are in use.
- If you have a live Christmas tree, turn it into mulch through Louisville Metro Solid Waste Management Services Tree-Cycling, which is available following the holiday. Check the Solid Waste website for dates, to be announced later in December.
Shopping locally helps build community and support our local economy. See the information below from Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) about an exciting contest to entice you to buy local this holiday season.
The Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA), an alliance of almost 600 locally owned and independent businesses, has launched the 6th annual Shift Your Shopping Contest. From November 20th to January 6th, LIBA will encourage shoppers to choose local and independent businesses for their holiday purchases. Making the shift to local independents is one of the fastest ways to build a strong local economy and create jobs in our community.*
A recent study of Louisville-area businesses shows that for every $100 spent at a locally-owned, independent business, $55 is reinvested locally, whereas only $14 is reinvested when that same money is spent at a national chain. By shopping local, consumers also help to preserve the unique community character of the Metro Louisville area.
But shopping from independent retailers this holiday season will yield more than just that warm and fuzzy feeling of supporting the local economy for one lucky person. The rules are easy: collect receipts from five member businesses by 1/6/14, mail in or present the receipts for review at one of the sponsor sites (Highland Cleaners or Feeders Supply), and you’ll be entered into the drawing to win $1000 in gift certificates to LIBA businesses. (Once receipts are verified, they are returned to the owner.) The winner of the Shift Your Shopping Contest will be drawn live on Monday, January 13, 2014 on WAVE-3 Listens at 12:30pm, and they will get to choose from close to 600 LIBA businesses where they wish to spend their $1,000. Download a contest entry form.
To celebrate the campaign, the public is invited to a launch event on Small Business Saturday, November 30th at Westport Village, 1315 Herr Lane (near Amazing Green Planet),10am to noon, press conference at 10:30am (specials will continue all day).
* American Independent Business Alliance – The Multiplier Effect of Local Independent Business Ownership – http://www.amiba.net/resources/multiplier-effect